Wrecks on the road?

Friday 21 February 2014, 17:04

David Lewis David Lewis Producer 5 live

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Crushed Car

Ever bought a second hand car and thought you’ve got a bargain?

That bargain could be jeopardising your safety and that of other road users.

Around a quarter of a million cars each year that have been written off by insurance companies following accidents end up back on the road. Although they’re technically written off, the cars are sold on to dealers who get them repaired and put them up for sale.

Unsuspecting motorists may never know that the vehicle had been in a crash. What makes matters worse is there are no controls on who can carry out the repairs – or the quality of their work.

5 live Investigates has been looking at a number of fatal accidents involving vehicles that had previously been written off.

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In one, a young girl died when the passenger compartment of her mum’s car crumpled following a side on collision. It turned out the car had been written off four years earlier and had not been repaired properly.

The inquest into the girl’s death heard that she would probably had survived if the car had provided the protection it was originally designed to give.

Police in County Durham are investigating a crash last summer in which three people died. One of the vehicles had been involved in an accident almost a year earlier and had serious mechanical defects. But it had been repaired and sold to one of the women who died in the crash.

A Police and Crime Commissioner – John Dwyer, the PCC for Cheshire - is now calling for the establishment of a central database to keep a record of cars that have suffered structural damage and who has carried out the repairs, providing an audit of the vehicle’s history.

There are concerns that some garages don’t know how to repair the hi-tech materials found in modern cars.

Hear the full story on 5 live Investigates, Sunday 23 February, 9pm.

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    Comment number 1.

    Car dealers being dishonest? Who'd have thought it? Well, just about anyone really who had any sense. We were sold a car from an allegedly reputable garage that after a few days needed major and expensive repairs and the dealership washed their hands of us us completely saying that we had bought the car for spares! ......we had paid several thousand pounds for the car. We had to drag the whole process through the trading standards route and only after many months got our money back.

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    Comment number 2.

    Why do you close blogs so quickly? There were plenty of legs in the one about 5Live. Or was it they were too glaringly critical?

    I bought a Mini years ago that had its wheel nuts hammered on. I had no idea of that until a week after I bought it one sheared off and almost took me and my two little nephews under the wheels of an approaching gravel lorry. Police uninterested. Garage uninterested. Me too shocked to drive for weeks afterwards imaging what would have happened if I hadn't fortunately reacted immediately to the problem.

 
 

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